Ten Things We did and Shouldn't Have follows April a high school Junior who moves in with her friend Vi (whose mother is away on tour) when her father moves out of town. April and her friends throw a lot of parties, deal with a lot of boy drama. The story features a few flashbacks to let the reader further understand April's relationship with her boyfriend and her parents divorce. April also deals slowly with her parents divorce and her feelings of abandonment. She grows up through the story and is able to recognize the mistakes she made.
This was a really fun book. It had the right mix of craziness combined with a serious topic to prevent it from just being a party fest. The girls learn a lot from living alone and have plenty of mishaps that range from putting the wrong soap in the dishwasher, figuring out how to grocery shop to buying a hot tub. The characters were interesting and varied and the romantic relationships were realistic and healthy (no obsessive pining over a boy). I was engrossed in the story and finished the book quickly.
Appropriateness: This book is full of adult content, there is a lot of underage drinking and a lot of sexual content (but no descriptions of sex). The whole concept of the book is teens living without parental supervision and being able to make their own decisions (which aren't always good) and learning along the way. If it was a movie it would be rated PG13 (or possibly R) and would be seen by many many high school age students. There is a lot of underage drinking and drunkenness but there is never even a hint of drinking and driving. A large portion of this book deals with April and her roommate's decisions to loose their virginity. They both go to planned parenthood together and the reader is treated to the details and it is repeated several times that the pills won't work for a month, it's a nice sex ed lesson. I would recommend this book to readers 14+ and I'd make sure to give your child a lecture on alcohol (which every kid that age could use anyways) and it's pitfalls.